I lived for two years almost exactly, from June 2002 to May 2004, in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, a small two-island country in the Caribbean with a population of less than 50,000. I worked there as a newspaper editor, first for the St. Kitts-Nevis Observer, then for a much smaller paper, the Leewards Times.
I'm back in California now, living North of San Francisco, with the little dog that I brought back with me. I kept a blog while I was in St. Kitts and Nevis, but for a number of reasons I stopped it and pulled it down. Although I'm living and working here and doing the usual blogatelles, I have this two-year sojourn to digest and rethink and integrate as experience -- and I'll be doing some of that here so you have been warned.
This blog is called "gall and gumption" because of a conversation I had with my friend Caroline, when she read me a bunch of academic grant proposals in the humaninites that she had to review for a committee on which she was serving at the University of California. (I ought to mention that before I became a journalist I also taught literature for several years at the University of California.) One of them I remember was a proposal to create a bunch of small embroidered pillows stuffed with shredded copies of texts of Emily Dickinson's poetry. There was the inevitable proposal that wanted to fund the presentation of a paper based on a computer count of the number of times some word was used in the collected works of some poet -- can't remember the word or the poet's name and don't see that it matters at all -- and there were a few others all of that ilk. When she finished reading them I said to Caroline, "The trouble with you and me is that we don't have the gall and gumption to pitch this sort of crap at people, and that's why we don't get on in the world."
And that, of course, is saying a mouthful. The consituent parts of that mouthful will be examined here as well. With gall and gumption.